‘Red Tails’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 27th, 2014 at 3:55 pm,

Red Tails Fighter Pilot Red Tails Review

Red Tails could get shot down as one of the biggest disappointments of 2012.

Considering the number of times that George Lucas has produced an Indiana Jones or Star Wars film over the past 35 years, it might come as a surprise when some moviegoers discover that his production company, Lucasfilm, actually makes movies that don’t include Henry Jones, Jr. or a member of the Skywalker family. Even more surprising might be the fact that Lucasfilm’s latest project, Red Tails - a big budget chronicle of the Tuskegee Airmen – has actually been in the works for nearly 25 years.

So, after a quarter of a century, has Lucas (and freshman feature-film director Anthony Hemingway) put together a solid movie that entertains while also honoring the struggles and sacrifices of the African American World War II fighter pilot squad?

Lucasfilm has a widely varied track record: the Star Wars prequels and Indiana Jones 4 all performed well at the box office but aren’t (by many people) considered particularly good movies, while earlier films will forever be considered classics and fan-favorites. Working without a pre-established franchise brand, Red Tails is the first movie from Lucasfilm in almost 18 years that has to actually rely on superior filmmaking to get people in the seats. Unfortunately, while Industrial Light & Magic’s trademark visual spectacle delivers some breathtaking aerial fight sequences, pretty much everything in between is a mishmash of missed opportunities, stilted acting, and underwhelming character moments.

Lucasfilm met with surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen and reviewed official documents and logbooks in order to get the Red Tails story as close to actual events as possible – so when moviegoers see the enormous aerial battles onscreen, there should be a weight to the action that’s absent in more fictional fare (such as Top Gun). However, the film falters on so many different technical aspects that, while the “true events” story demands weight, Red Tails fails to fully rise to the occasion.

An example: in the opening scene where German fighter planes decimate an American bomber squad, the combination of especially cliche’ dialogue and near-laughable voice-over work cripples any emotional impact the scene was intended to present. Where campy mid-battle chatter helped endear moviegoers to the Star Wars universe back in the 1970′s, the same approach is shockingly disjointed in a modern film that looks upon true-life WWII death and destruction.

Tuskegee Airmen Red Tails Red Tails Review

The Tuskegee Airmen in ‘Red Tails’

It’s an especially disappointing experience, given the rich source material. The story is provided with the fundamental building blocks necessary for an enjoyable ride that also offers profound character moments – it just never does anything particularly interesting with them. At the outset, the Tuskegee Airmen are relegated to flying patrols far from the action (limited to hunting for wayward Nazi land vehicles) – until their program is about to be shut down by closed-minded higher-ups who still believe Negro pilots are inferior to whites. In a last ditch effort to prove that his squad can deliver just as many aerial kills as those by white servicemen, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) accepts a risky escort mission that sets the stage for the Tuskegee Airmen legacy.

Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) leads the first all African-American fighter squad into active combat, along with his hot-headed best friend, Joe “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo). The pair are given their own story arcs (Lighting falls in love with an Italian woman and Easy struggles with a drinking problem), but (as the film is presented) neither of these sub-plots have any real impact on the primary storyline, and, individually, conclude in overly-melodramtic moments without real catharsis. As a result, despite enjoyable performances from a few of the lead actors, anything outside of the main plot comes across as manipulative filler that attempts to invest audiences in the airmen “characters” without actually delivering compelling drama.

The same approach is applied to the film’s Nazi villains – who are depicted as merciless and cartoony caricatures. Understandably, it’s easy to make Nazis look evil on film, but presenting them as interesting or complicated is significantly more difficult. Red Tails fails to make anything more than bloodthirsty dogs out of its villains – especially the film’s main antagonist, “Pretty Boy” (Lars van Riesen), who does little but provide angry squints and shout ridiculous platitudes into his flight mask.

In general, Red Tails is filled with bizarre decisions that lead back to director Anthony Hemingway (and possibly George Lucas, himself – who directed a few reshoots). A number of scenes are abandoned before they are fully baked, and the audience rarely sees a character’s reaction to a particularly difficult situation. On the flip side, several scenes (in a movie that’s already over-long at 121 minutes) are entirely out of place, and serve only to set up events that don’t offer much payoff down the line.

Red Tails Aerial Dog Fight Red Tails Review

A WWII aerial battle in ‘Red Tails’

There are also some especially confounding technical choices – such as when (and when not) to use subtitles, as well as the lack of geographical timestamps (i.e. “Berlin, 1944″). Appropriately, racial stereotypes and overturning racial tensions are major themes in Red Tails; however, the subject matter is handled with a shocking lack of sophistication and subtlety that, instead of becoming a major touchstone for the storyline, comes across as little more than another underwhelming side plot.

That said, following in the Star Wars space battle pedigree, Red Tails offers some great aerial fight sequences – and makes it hard – in spite of all of the film’s story and editing problems – to not enjoy the action. In the air, the characters and principle actors come alive a bit more – delivering a number of entertaining moments as they work together and outmaneuver German threats. Unfortunately, fly-time is far shorter than the amount of the film that’s spent on the ground - so moviegoers aren’t going to simply be able to brush Red Tails off as a fun CGI popcorn flick.

Red Tails could get shot down as one of the biggest disappointments of 2012. With such an inspiring source story, a roster of talented actors, and one of the most profitable production companies backing the film, it’s genuinely hard to imagine where it all went wrong. While servicemen and families who have a connection to the Tuskegee air fighters will likely connect with the film, what ultimately comes across onscreen is a group of passionate actors that were let down by a flat mishmash of strange story and directorial choices.

While it might not enjoy the same blockbuster CGI dogfights as Red Tails, for anyone interested in this particular WWII story, it’s much easier to recommend the HBO original film, The Tuskegee Airmen; that film’s ability to balance heavy thematic material and entertaining moments makes it a far superior retelling of the famous Tuskegee 332nd Fighter Group.

If you’re still on the fence about Red Tails, check out the trailer below:

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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick - and let us know what you thought of the film below:

Red Tails is now in theaters.

Our Rating:

2 out of 5
(Okay)

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176 Comments

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  1. I am so tired of white people saying, “It’s a great storyline but the movie stinks.” Or “The story was flimsy and it’s all about CGI or low-brow comedy.” Well, if you’ve lived in the past 20 some odd years you will know that this guy name Tyler Perry makes billions off of your idea of low quality. I swear it’s like reading a bunch of Republicans response to Obama doing something well–either they say it could have been done better or he got the policy from them or they just plain go after his wife. White people say things that may persuade others from seeing this film and it’s just plain wrong! You keep saying you’re judging on the same basis of any other historical documentary but we all no that’s a lie.

    The fact that any movie that is not centered on a “white american” whether black, asian, native American or whatever, should be hearalded especially being released at such a wide scale b/c it just don’t have often. Praise the fact that we live in a country that allowed these same men who came home to no REAL acknowledgment are getting it now (most are dead.)

    So, shut up and watch to learn some history and enjoy the special effects. Allow your children to see a group of black men have integreity, honor, valor, and dignity because it’s not often depicted in the media. You all know how flawed the world media is. So maybe in time, “better quality” movies depicting non white Americans will be made on a grand scale. Even better, it won’t matter what race they are, your kids won’t even have to question wheter any race or creed or religion can play any role, have any job and be whatever they want. That’s what this film is about…HOPE. Because 90% of you seemed to have lost that point.

    • Tracie Jones

      Silence your self to stop causing ur self further ignorance. You look simple pulling the race card. Even if it is true, which it is not, be bigger than that. That crutch is a weak excuse weak people use b/c they are not strong enough to overcome adversity. Dont be weak.

      Anyways, Im black and the movie sucked. Its more a movie about WW2 ariel dogfights with the Tuskegee Airmen used as the backdrop. This movie did no justice to the tuskegee airmen other than to say they existed. This movie should have been serious instead it was as if a child was playing with his WW2 RedTail model planes making up stock characters and silly storylines to go with it. There is no history to be learned from this film. My grandfather served in the 761st Tank Battalion aka Black Planther, who were the first black tank squadron in WW2. I would be insulted had this movie been made for his and his fellow soldiers memory.

      And dont bring Tyler Perry into this, that only worsened your case. That man only adds to black sterotypes with his stock black southern characters. And being from the south I hate when people misconstrue my accent for less intelligence or think we all live like clowns as in Tyler Perry movie. Madea and his two TBS sitcoms are bunch of monkey shyyt. Dont speak as if your representing the black race b/c you are not.

      • @ Ignur Rant – Stereotypes exist for a reason. If they didn’t have some truth to them, they wouldn’t exist. What I do like about Tyler Perry is that he doesn’t just show the stereotypical blacks. He shows all layers of black people. The lawyer, the businessman, the hard working man, the hard working single mother, the not so good single mother, the not so good husband, the not so good wife, and the list goes on. People like to nit-pick at what they don’t like and miss out on the beauty of everything else. Tyler Perry has his own studio and he is employing lots of people. Doing a lot for every community. It hurts me that there are people like you who thinks that tyler perry “adds to black stereo-types.” That’s not true. Far from the truth.

        I’m going to see Red Tails this weekend. I can’t wait to see it.

      • The race card is SOOOOOOOOO true. GOOD MOVIE but if you are racist don’t go see it. It will remind you of your insecurities.

      • Ignu rant your awesome

    • The lines were corny and the acting was pathetic. IMO it was a waste of time and money watching it.

      • Was a fantastic movie. everybody talks about what they would like to see, and less of what really happened. the fact of the matter is no 1 who is making comments have actually been there to give their m put on how the actors acted. funny enough, george lucas actually met with the original tuskegee airman along with all of the actors to get their personalities down pact. long story short, the actors or only protraying the real personalities of the tuskegee airman. it is not a matter of pulling the race card, but the media is highlighting everything but the point that this truly is an inspiration of real pilots and their experience, irregardless of how people “think” they should have been portrayed. If you were guilt aware of all the race issues that even George Lucas went through to produce this movie you may think differently. But gues what, the media FAILED to mention any of that. And this again is not me pulling a race card but GEORGE LUCAS, a white man said it himself on an interview.

    • What a stupid rant! Singling out white people as the only people who had a negative review on this movie? Get real.. the writing is on the wall! This is a movie that fell short and that is the truth of it. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard were pretty much the only solid actors in this and they were barley in the movie. The men who actually served deserve better.. If i want to get a great history lesson to show my kids I will go look in a history book and do some research and not to a HOllywood movie. This pretty much sucked except for the effects.. the storyline was terrbile the acting was terrbile and thats all there is to it.

    • Wow, seriously?

      I love “reverse racism.”

      “Even better, it won’t matter what race they are, your kids won’t even have to question wheter any race or creed or religion can play any role, have any job and be whatever they want.”

      Not as long folks like yourself keep making an issue out of it and seeing every “white reviewer” or white person who disagrees with Obama as a Klan member.

      Vic

      • Thats my dog!

    • IM sorry, part of me wants to agree with this, but the acting in this movie is JUST PLAIN terrible. All the white people in the world championing this movie won’t change that. I’ve seen porno movies with better acting.

    • I’m with you Tracie. I couldn’t have said it better. I just saw red tails and it was awesome! And it is history! Loved it

  2. I saw this wonderful movie 3 times already and am going to see it again tonight! Excellent acting, special effects and of course the story is one of inspiration! I met 14 of the original Tuskegee Airmen years ago and I’m so happy to see the story finally being shown to the world! Every American should see this movie at least once! Hats off to George Lucas!

  3. Where and how do I begin to describe the failed attempt of a WW2 dramedy known as Red Tails? Should it be the opening B-Movie credits, childish dialog or weightless subplots of alcoholism, black men love of white women and daddy issues?

    For a movie marred in production hell for the past decade, one would think the producers, writters, directors and everyone else evolved in the creative process were absolutely certain that the best film possible was being put on the big screen. After all, were talking about The Tuskeegee Airmen here right? A group of men who by there pure determination, grit, nerves, sacrifice all in the face of absolute racism and low expectations, risesd above and gave there LIVES for other men and a country that despised them! There a dozens of great stories to be told about these men, but unfortunately none of them were told in this film.

    Granted, there are those of you who will say that we should just be happy that Mr. Lucas put his hard earned money in place after no one else in Hollywood would. Where were you Mr. Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Will & Jada Smith? Why didnt a part of world history not get the proper support and finacial backing from Hollywoods Black elite? Afterall if we didnt put our money where our mouth is maybe we dont have the right to complain when men like Lucas come to the rescue. Which is fine, but I would counter that point and say hey… If your not going to do it right and go all in don’t bother doing it at all! I mean shouldnt a film like this one, be founded, written, directed, cast with men who could relate to the subject matter?

    In comparison to the HBO Tuskeegee Airmen film aired in 1995, Redtails carries absolutely no character or emotional weight to it. When you watch that film and the performances given by Lawrence Fishburne, Andre Braugher, Daniel Kelly and hell even the racist ass character played by Christopher McDonald you cant help but FEEL every tense nerve, anger and pain emitting from these men. Redtails… I felt nothing. One area that the film did outshine its predecessor obviously was its use of special effects, but given the technology available today we knew Lucas would shine there right? But Star Wars sound effects in the dogfights… Really. (don’t know if anyone else heard that)

    After viewing the film twice I actually felt bad for the WWII vets and families in the theatre with me obviously caught up in the pure emotional backwash of the time period knowing that there fathers, grandfathers historical legitimacy of the film was lost. It’s a shame also for the actors who gave I think all they could to a film and story that was poorly excecuted on multiple layers. Didn’t Cuba Gooding Jr. think he was given the opportunity to add on the an already solid performance from 95. Terrence Howard had the opportunity to make a memorable character of pride, strength and prestige and distance himself from being known only as a pimp on the big screen. When they watched this film could they honestly say that the end product was good? That they accomplished what they set out to do? That they did the memories of these men justice? That this is the film little black boys and girls could watch in class during Black History Month as a realistic interpretation of what it was to be a Tuskegee Airmen? That this was the film we’ve been waiting for, deserved?

    Reflecting on my absoulute favorite war films and series like Saving Private Ryan, HBOs Band of Brothers, Midway and even Mel Gibsons, We Were Soldiers it baffles my mind at how hollow and empty a film like Redtails actually is. Visually appealing but morally empty.

  4. I just the film and I rate it as one of the great WWII movies dealing with the air war. The effects were tremendous such as the burning B-17s and Me262ss and the destroyer. I also rate the acting as top quality and it deserves at least a 4 star rating.
    Unfortunatley the critics have viciously attacked the film so when I saw it after it has been playing for one week I thought the theater would be empty. To my surprise (only because I am fooled by the idiotic critics sometimes) the theater was half full, mostly people of that WWII generation with at least over a 100 people.
    I think that the problem with this film is that it appeals to an older generation and to Blacks. I am 68 years old so I can understand the emotional content of the film. Indeed there were scenes that nearly brought tears to my eyes such as the ending when they get that presidential award.

  5. TO EVERYONE:

    If race is not a factor why is it even part of the discussion? It’s because it is a factor…Let’s talk about the movie. Many people who watched the movie were disappointed because they thought that George Lucas was going to “WOW” us. I would think so too-it took him over twenty years to finish it. I wished it would’ve been a bit better. However, does Red Tails deserve 2-star ratings and a *fart sound with the tongue*? No.

    1. The storyline was easy to follow: It didn’t have any crazy, over-exaggerated turns that would have labeled the movie “trying too hard.” They kept it simple. Fact and action. I think it was an imaginative film as far as creative style. They also didn’t get too deep into race and other predictable features. They also left pieces to our imagination.

    2. It had so many unexpected and clever parts. I won’t go into too much detail for people who have not seen it. For example, the love story between Lightening and his Italian love. Another example, the ending. It was familiar enough, but not predictable.

    3. It gave the audience so much: Throughout the theaters you can hear people laughing, see them crying, hear their anger, hear and see them cheering. Let’s not forget that we are one race=HUMAN.

    Personally, I think that Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Method man were not the right actors for their roles.

    The truth is: This is movie is just a start to the great films that we can make together. It’s a shame that African American directors have to be “allowed” to team up with the big shot, majority Caucasian production companies because of money. I was also very happy to see so many African American men on screen at once again. It’s been years! How can you make a **** or ***** movie when you’re never given the chance to practice/explore/experience working on them? The pressure that these directors and producers have on them to satisfy the silly remarks that viewers make after they work their butts off for our entertainment is alone praiseworthy.

    Movies are not made for the unimaginative.

  6. This movie sucked.

    What a shame. They took an incredible story and told it in a cliched and tedious manner. I felt like I was watching Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor.” It was nice to see Cuba Gooding Jr. on screen, but his character didn’t do much for me, and the other characters were annoying as hell, consistently blurting out lame and cheesy one-liners. The script was terrible and the delivery from the actors was even worse. Laughable. The characterizations were s*****, you don’t care for any of these characters; who lives, who dies, nothing. The special effects were nothing special, and the aerial dogfight sequences didn’t have any tension or suspense. Or excitement. Nuff’ said.

    1 star

    • I was thinking of Pearl Harbor too when I saw this movie! Its ashame. Its such a great story too. I like the HBO movie better.

  7. I finally got to see this, and I thought it was an entertaining movie. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the HBO movie Tuskegee Airmen even though the special effects were better. If they could have somehow merged the 2 movies, with the cast of the HBO movie and the effects of Red Tails, then I would say we have a hit. Instead, I can only say that this movie is entertaining for the visuals.

    And another thing; what happened to Benjamin O. Davis Jr.? Wasn’t he the real leader of the Airmen? In this film, I thought Terrence Howard was playing his part but his character had a different name. It’s a shame we couldn’t have had actors like Andre Braugher or Lawrence Fishburne because they were inspiring (and Braugher, I felt, should have received some type of award for his speech to those jerks politicians). For those who saw Red tails and have not seen Tuskegee Airmen, please rent the HBO and compare. I would give this film 3.5/5, for the effects.

  8. The movie was an insult to real, in-depth, thought out movies on the related subject. It being a George Lucas film and being so terribly done, leads me to believe that this was just a cheap attempt to be perceived as African American conscious while exploiting a mainly D-list cast of actors to pull quick money from black movie goers. It’s funny so many people mentioned the credits because the credits were something that my girlfriend and I mentioned as being oddly cheap and poorly done. That should have been the precursor to the remainder of this terrible movie. I walked out within 45 minutes even though I spent $20 for tickets. Yeah yeah the storyline is important, doesn’t mean I have to pretend the movie was any good. I’m black and I’m stating that the movie was an embarrassment and insulting.

  9. I was disappointed in the movie. I was so excited to see this film, and as soon as the cheesy credits rolled i said ” oh my gosh.” And it got worst. I think its wonderful that allot of attention is being brought to the Tuskegee Airmen. I would suggest going see the Off-Broadway play in NYC ” Black Angels Over Tuskegee.” It was the best play i ever seen in my life. My daughter and I learn so much about the Airmen. We cried, laughed it was a full circle of the Airmen life about their wives, children and much more. I only wished George Lucas and his staff would have hired the writer and director of that play to tell this story.

  10. This film is in two meanings hypocrite. It shows how democratic America was on its way to give black people better chances. They are allowed to fight for a better reputation. They got the chance to prove their brave character. In reality an Apartheid U.S.-system fought during WW II against a racist German system. You could find racists and decent people on both sides.

    Secondly it is a racist movie against Germans. It shows all anti-German stereotypes, you always see in American War-movies. The Germans are merciless villains, evil Killers without a human feeling, racists, who want to oppress freedom. In reality even the German soldiers were young, patriotic men, who wanted to fight for their country like the black soldiers in this movie does it for theirs.

    I know, that this film is only a propaganda movie, that wants to show, how brave and decent the good guys fought against the bad ones, another patriotic strip, depicting Americans as real heroes, fighting against a superiority of racist, dump Germans. But as long as one knows, that in the end of the war American fighter-bombers had no resistance of German pilots to fear, because all of them were already killed, if as long you know, that American fighter-bombers shot during the last months of the war civilians in the streets, peasant on their fields, children from their bicycles, mothers in their gardens, only because they were German, there is nothing heroic in it. I don’t know if the Tuskegee Airmen were involved, but this brutal, heinous warfare by American Airman is a fact, proved by thousands of eye-witnesses.

    War is always like hell and it’s stupid to glorify war in this nationalist, militaristic and hypocrite way.

    • Thank for your different words on the topic. Me being actually born in Dresden / Germany (where one of the worst Allied war crimes happened in February 1945, especially Americans day bombing civilians fleeing from an already-reduced-to-rubble city after two previous British night assaults) i felt extra offended by the stereotypes, comic portraying and glorification of bombing missions. War/bombing? Something that no American had to endure on his or her own soil (until now). And this movie makes War look like a fun PlayStation shooter. Oh my. There’s nothing of the emotional or gritty class of Saving Private Ryan or Memphis Belle. Typical low-grade popcorn entertainment.
      As for Eva’s comment:
      “The depiction and accuracy of the aircraft are pretty much perfect.”
      Ha, ha. There’s a nice item list on IMDB* which actually points out those (and more) faults nicely:
      (* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485985/board/nest/193839447)

      2. On your very first dog fight with the Germans, you kill 13 of them and lose none, but you still need better planes.
      11. Why drop bombs? Just machine guns blows everything up real good.
      15. You can talk and breathe better with an oxygen mask off
      16. When you design an airfield in a combat zone, make sure you place the buildings and tents within 20 feet of the runway sides and put the largest concentration at the end of the runway.
      17. When you yank back on the stick and kick the rudder hard at 400+ mph your plane will stop and pirouette in mid-air and your guns will align up perfectly on the enemy on your six. <—- MAJOR FAULT
      18 ME 262s always attacked in packs of 20 or so. <—- MAJOR FAULT, they were rare aircraft
      19, When you are escorting bombers to the enemy's capital it is no big deal to chatter incessantly on the radios and even talk about where you are going and where you are.
      20. There is no need for lead when aiming at aircraft passing at approximate right angles to the line of sight. Just aim directly at them, despite the fact they are moving at approximately 20% of the muzzle velocity of your bullets. <—- MAJOR FAULT
      23. A fighter pilot who has been exposed to a fuel shower (forget about how that happened) for 20 min or so will not burst into flames with the canopy off and the rest of the plane burning around him.
      24. ME-262's sound like Tie Fighters.
      28. All B-17's lose a wing when shot down.
      29. Making a head-on pass at an ME-262's 4x30mm cannons is a smart tactical move.
      30. German destroyers' steel armor plating was cleverly disguised by invisible boxes of black power soaked in gasoline.

      • Before anyone mentions it: I meant war as brought into their own country by a foreign nation. Given that the Civil war was home-made, and the Independence war where the other party was not really a foreign nation. Both without endless bombing runs, anyway. And no, Pearl Harbour doesn’t count.

        • I understand what your saying. Im American and I don’t like when they portray German Soldiers as monsters. Wars are fought by soldiers but played by old men. Plus people dont understand how many Germans disapproved of Hitler and there 42 attempt on his life.

          • It’s great, how you react. You are as critical as me towards this kind of war movie.
            In no way I wanted to justify Nazi-ideology or Nazi-assaults on other countries. But I distinguish between German soldiers and civilians and their Nazi-leaders. A lot of Germans felt humiliated after World War I. Imagine after a loss of some million American G.I.s in a brutal war other nations would annex Texas and California and claim damages of billions of Dollars, what brings American families into misery. A lot of Americans would find that unfair and would go for revenge.
            Now Germans know, that it was wrong to fight for Hitler, but a lot of German soldiers thought at that time, it would be right to fight for the restoration of their country.
            Most civilians didn’t even thought about that. My mother was seven years old at the end of the war and she was attacted several times by American aircrafts. She saw a lot of old women and other children dying, next to her in a ditch. Until today she has anxiety attacks.
            Five years ago I interviewed survivors of the Dresden bombing. After they had managed to escape from the ruins of the city to the meadows of the Elb-river, they were chased by aircrafts. The men I interviewed, were 10 and 12 years old at that time. They saw a lot of people die, also members of their family.
            I guess, Germans did the same war crimes in Russia, but there would be no hero war-movie about them in contemporary Germany. The lecture Germans learned from the Nazi-time and the war is to be very critical toward war propaganda.

            • Let’s relax, shall we – before I’m forced to disable commenting on this review.

              Vic

            • Its nice to hear a different take on war. I believe there is always two sides to a story and thank you for sharing your country’s side.

      • Thank you Falcone. I saw the trailer and from what I saw in the trailer I was disappointed. The whole thing just made me shake my head in disgust. The historical inaccuracies shown just in the trailer were enough to make me think this movie was a piece of flaming meister Scheiße.

  11. The most disappointing thing about with movies like these is the gross rewriting of history. It cheapens what they actually accomplished.

    Many of them were decimated by German pilots. These were living breathing pilots that died horribly in fire and blood like many of their fellow white pilots. Everything has to have a social programming message.

    To hell with historical accuracy.

  12. I worked on this movie as a supporting actor in Prague for 5 weeks. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Conversing with genuine Tuskegee airmen and absorbing such an elaborate film set was amazing; I was sure that the end product would be something special. It saddens me to say it, but I was really disappointed. For whatever reason, the authenticity I felt bursting out of that film set didn’t appear on camera. The actors had as much depth as an alcoholic truck driver. I’m actually shocked to read that people thought it was a good movie. Could anyone really compare it to, say, The Great Debaters? or The Last Samurai? It isn’t even in the same league. Still, I don’t blame the actors for their performance. Working with a mozzarella-topped script like that, they did the best they could. It was the editing and script that let the film down imo.

  13. I’m a black male in today’s active duty military and I go through racism from higher ranks almost everyday. I’m for one all for this movie and love what it represents. I think if it had a lot more media exposure, and if big media wasn’t scared to help promote it, it would’ve done a lot better at the box office. I asked people everyday if they went to go see it, and I continue to hear that they haven’t even heard of it. A “George Lucas Film” really? George Lucas wanted to do sequels and prequels to the movie because the time frame doesn’t do the whole storyline justice, but it does leave you a feeling of wanting to know more, just like Star Wars. I don’t think it should go to dvd’s or television yet, I think it needs more exposure, and doesn’t need an african american to direct a film, that’s what’s wrong with today’s society, too many people get caught up in race. I’m a brown skin male, my mom is dark chocolate, and my dad looks like the inside of my palm. I think this alone allows me to feel comfortable around all shades.

  14. The P-51 Mustang was as cutting edge and high-tech in WWII as are the modern jet fighters of today. Becoming a fighter pilot then, and now, is an achievement very few actually accomplish. It’s incredibly difficult.

    To fly the Mustang as an escort over Germany in WWII meant that you flew against the most advanced air force and some of the best pilots history had known up to that point. A horrific number of our pilots died protecting American bombers from the German Luftwaffe.

    Now, imagine that on top of all of these challenges, you are also a black man in a segregated military, and a black American living in the racism and bigotry of the 1940′s.

    The Tuskegee Airmen defied not only the German pilots they flew against, but they also defied an American system that saw them as inferior and incapable of performing even simple tasks let alone fly a state of the art fighter.

    These men went on to become some of finest pilots of WWII and they deserve to have their story told properly. Red Tails does not even come close to doing this, nor does it honor them. This film is an insult.

  15. ROOTS = Classic. AMISTAD = Classic. Despite all the pomp and circumstance, SFX, and stunning visuals; this movie fails due to it’s creator being a absolute imbecile. This could have been award winning subject matter, but no,it debases history and the lives men who were a part of it.

    Call MythBusters! They’d have a field day with the amount of ‘myths’ this c4*p movie dishes.

  16. Red Tails has an interesting story about the difficulties these men faced to be recognized and it also had very good graphics, but little else! Enough already with badly-made war movies about the big bad Germans with extremely bad aim and that can’t seem to do anything right…this film is so far from any historical truth that it is laughable to anyone who knows anything about battles that took place and the fighter planes depicted! I suggest watching some of the actual documentary films during the battles.

    Experienced German pilots face rookie pilots without a single plane shot down in their first dogfight, but the Americans shoot 13 down and the Germans 0!! The rookies would not have known what hit them when facing experienced pilots! The attack on the airfield was another joke, with the pilot at the end doing a low fly over without get riddled with bullets from anti-aircraft fire…yeah, that’s realistic!

    The airfight to Berlin was another farce: the ME 262 flew about 150 km/h faster than any allied fighter so the P51s couldn’t even catch them unless they were taking off or landing, yet these guys shoot 4 or 5 down in about 2 minutes, but the German pilots only manage to hit one or two P51s!

    I like George Lucas, but this is definitely one of his worst movies…

  17. OK did anyone notice one of the biggest continuity gaffs in recent big movie history? OPs room and all the pilots are crowded round a map to be briefed on “Operation Shingle” . A town somewhere on the coast of Italy had been marked in red for where an attack would be. Fair enough. Fast forward an hour, and the same group of pilots are gathered around a map to be briefed on an attack on Berlin. “Berlin!” says the C.O. tapping the map. Problem is that was the same map with the same Italian coastal town marked in red……. Dumb how all the actors, director and producers may be, you would have thought someone would have suggested getting a different map…….

    But there again, they did include a scene whereby a fighter plane managed to destroy a sizeable warship with a machine gun…..!

  18. I played the Italian mother in RED TAILS and was so excited to be part of such a historic film. Say or think what you may, the bottom line is that the film gave deserved focus to a group of men in a way that had not been done before in a ‘blockbuster’ film. There are few Tuskagee pilots left, this film is for them, re-discovered and honored by new generations – so that they know they did us proud and are not forgotten.

  19. I watched this movie not for any history or racial tension lessons but for the great cgi graphics of the battle scenes. There are so many great and true WW II stories that could be either remade or brand new now that realistic looking aircraft can be used instead of plexiglass and wood models or using completely different aircraft to represent the real thing.
    If you want to learn history watch a good documentary or read a biography but if you want realistic battle scenes this has been the best so far made. Even better then Flyboys and much better then Pearl Harbor. Movies are for escapism not for reality of life.

  20. It’s unfortunate that this movie was sooooo corny. The aerial battles were some of the best ever put on film.

  21. It’s a shame what they did with this movie. This could have been a very inspiring story about one of the few times our government made a correct and courageous decision vis a vis African Americans in the military. Instead, we are subjected to ham handed dialog, and hagiography of its subjects. For example, having an apparently hostile white officer salute the men, and invite them for a drink is not a nuanced handling of racism. I wanted to like this a lot, but I’m disappointed.

  22. I think the movie stinks. But much worse than the 2 dimensional charakters are the dog fighting scenes. One could believe the producers have never been in a real airplane. They aer behaving like Tie – Fighters rather than real aircrafts of that time. Very disappointing for an Aviation fan like me.